Sorry this is not a beauty or fashion post it is about something much more important to me.
I’ve gone over writing this post for days now but I just did not have the right words without it sounding like venting. I want to educate and bring awareness. It is happening too often and every time I hear it my heart sinks.
Mental illness and suicide hits very close to home. As I mentioned before my boyfriend passed away last summer, June 14th. It was from suicide.
Before I get any further let me bring to your attention that suicide is not a crime. It is unfortunate and heart wrenching, but I cringe when people say a person “committed” suicide as you would say to describe a criminal; committed fraud, committed murder. My boyfriend had the heart of an angel he died from suicide, but he did not “commit” anything. This was brought to my attention at a suicide prevention event which helped me realize the term commit isn’t appropriate.
Suicide often linked to mental illness whether it is depression, schizophrenia, bipolar etc.; it is a condition like any other illness as serious and painful as cancer for instance. I did not give it much thought before I experienced it with my boyfriend but now I understand how devastating and agonizing it is.
I once read a comment a man wrote under a mental disorder article saying depression only affects weak people, who choose to be down. That is not true. Mental illness takes over your mind and your life and it is extremely hard to control. Imagine falling in a hole and just when you are about to climb out you fall back inside and continuing this cycle the entire day. Doesn’t it aggravate you when more than one person speaks to you at a time? It sure upsets teachers/professors when students speak all at once, isn’t that why we must raise our hands before speaking. Well now imagine all those voices in your head all the time, pulling you in so many directions and not being able to shut them up.
In the case of my boyfriend he tried very hard to fight the negative thoughts, he tried to keep himself busy and engage in positive thoughts and activities. It worked for a while but the thoughts got louder and stronger, the things that helped him keep his mind occupied like working no longer worked. He wasn’t able to concentrate in anything. I would try my hardest to motivate him and inculcate happy and positive thoughts in his mind. It worked for a few minutes sometimes hours or even a day or two but then the negative thoughts would take over. Watching him suffer daily was devastating; to see someone you love in pain and not be able to do anything. Just when I thought he was doing better he would have a relapse, it felt like having the wind knocked out of me and even that falls short to describe how despairing the situation is.
He went to multiple doctors, hospitals in search of help. Unfortunately he was neglected, not given the proper care or attention, even though the doctors anticipated he was a harm to himself. Those visits left him feeling hopeless; he felt if doctors couldn’t help him then there was nothing that would.
I use to think it had to do with his insurance. I thought he wasn’t getting the proper attention because he wasn’t wealthy. But then I started to notice wealthy people going through the same struggle. Which proves it isn’t about money, not enough light is being reflected on mental health. From my experience doctors do not take it serious enough. More funds need to go into mental health research. There needs to be improvement, too many people are being affected too many valuable and innocent lives are being lost.
Some people choose to sweep it under the rug. It needs to end, mental illness is serious. I know a lot of people will want to cut my head off for saying this but when I hear cases were a person with a mental disorder has harmed someone I feel empathy for the victim but I do NOT think the “villain” is a villain, rather I see two victims. A person with a mental illness cannot be held accountable for his/her actions, when they clearly have no control over it. It is cruel and inhumane to send a person with mental illness to prison.
I learned a lot from my experience with my boyfriend and I want to share it in case this post reaches anyone in the same situation.
*Do not outcast the person suffering from the illness, show an abundance of love, let that person know he/she isn’t alone.
*Listen. Sometimes my boyfriend just wanted to talk, to be heard and understood. He would say even if you don’t get it just listen and be on my side.
*Get help. If a particular doctor, medication or psychiatrist doesn’t help find another one. Also understand that a person suffering from mental illness will most likely not seek for help on their own, go get it from them. Take charge do everything in your power to get that person help.
*Do not neglect or give the victim too much alone time. The more alone time the more thinking (most likely negative thoughts) the person will do.
*DO NOT ignore suicide threats. Call for help immediately.
*Keep your own mind healthy, I know it is extremely hard to stay positive in a situation like this but if you are both unstable you will not be able to help. What kept me strong was praying and strengthening my relationship with God.
*Educate yourself; research, read, and find mental awareness events you can attend.
*DO NOT GIVE UP.
If anyone suffering from a mental condition is reading this please stay strong, don’t give up, have faith it will get better. Please know that suicide does not solve anything it just passes down the pain to us that are left behind. Do not think that you are alone, you aren’t I guarantee there is always someone who cares. I am always willing to speak to anyone that needs to be heard, needs to vent or just talk.
“Mental illness is a flaw in Chemistry not character.”
Thanks for reading